IDEM - A Framework for Managing Expansion Revenue (Upsell & Cross-sell)

IDEM – A Framework for Managing Expansion Revenue (Upsell & Cross-sell)

In this blog, we will comprehensively discuss IDEM, a framework that assists in upselling and cross-selling for key accounts management.

IDEM - A Framework for Managing Expansion Revenue (Upsell & Cross-sell)
IDEM - A Framework for Managing Expansion Revenue (Upsell & Cross-sell)

What if your SaaS (Software As A Service) company discovered a new source of revenue that could potentially boost sales by 20–30% with less effort and money than gaining new logos? Expansion revenue specifically offers such a chance. A typical SaaS company, regrettably, is not doing enough to maximize this source of money. 

In what way does the expansion revenue framework actually exist? It is money earned after the original purchase and obtained through upselling, cross-selling, and renewals to your current clientele.

As a benchmark, a business should aim to generate 30% of its overall revenue from expansion; yet most SaaS companies only generate 10% on average. This is where IDEM comes into the picture. 

Before we proceed, let us discuss some key things. 

Different Types of SaaS Expansion

When planning expansion sales for your existing customers, your primary focus should be on the right type of sales you should be approaching them with. And make things easy for you, we have listed out the three types of SaaS Expansion sales –


Upselling is a sales strategy used to convince clients to buy a more costly, upgraded, or premium variant of the selected product/ service or other add-ons to close a larger deal.

What makes it a great strategy is its focus. An approach for upselling is also a way of offering products/ services that solve customers’ pain points and provide greater efficiency and greater value. This way, the upselling strategy also works as a customer happiness strategy that also increases revenue by winning over the customers by recommending upgrades, premiums, or add-ons.

Additionally, the strategy serves as a fantastic way to increase Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). Client Lifetime Value (CLV) is the cumulative net profit a customer contributes to your business. When you approach a customer with a proposal to buy add-ons or upgrades to the existing product/ service, you are ultimately helping them get a product that serves their needs better. And when the customer realizes the value, it has a positive impact on CLV.

Higher CLV means greater customer retention and an increase in customer loyalty- and all this without you having to spend a single pennyThus, upselling also serves as an excellent way to boost your customer retention and make the customers return and refer to the offerings in their circles.


Cross-selling is a selling strategy that involves encouraging the customers to purchase something in addition to your main offering. Cross-selling could persuade a customer to buy a subscription to your CRM (Customer Relationship Management), for instance, if they have already purchased a subscription to the marketing tool you are offering. It is a terrific approach to strengthen customer relationships and increase customer loyalty, both of which can increase client lifetime value and retention.

The trick here is to know the customer, understand their needs, follow their customer journey, and then pitch additional products and services in response to their interest in or purchase of one of your company’s goods.

There are several tangible benefits of cross-selling. They include an increase in sales revenue, growth in customer satisfaction, and an increase in Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). All these benefits are achievable because of deeper integration with the customer’s business.

Cross-selling is fantastic for you and your consumers when it works. The ideal circumstance is when your current client is unaware of a good or service that could enhance their consumer experience. By using their preferred mode of contact, you locate them at the ideal time in their customer journey, and they respond favorably by making the suggested purchase. Because the product more closely meets their needs, your sales rise, and their level of customer happiness rises.


Selling their offerings in bundles comes naturally to SaaS enterprises. In this type of selling strategy, the business combines as many products and services as possible and tells them as a single package/ product. One of the easiest ways to explain bundling is by quoting the example of McDonald’s Happy Meal. The food company combines its offerings from the a la carte and presents them as one whole package at a lower price.

Similarly, SaaS companies bundle assorted products and services together and offer them at a lower price. The lower price is a definite game changer. The bundle may contain a product that may be on a higher margin but is less desired by the customers.

When this very product is sold as a part of a bundle, at that too at a discounted price, there is an increase in the average profit per transaction. Talking from a customer’s viewpoint, apart from the price, customers also feel that they derive higher value when buying the bundle. Therefore, bundling satisfies the customer with a greater perceived value.

What Division in the Enterprise “Owns” Expansion Revenue? 

Well, this sure is an interesting question! Just like the ownership on renewals, there sure is a lot of debate on who owns the expansion revenue… is it the sales team? Is it the customer success team, or is it the analytics department?

There is no denying the fact that the sales team excels in identifying new leads for prospective accounts. However, the sales team is not fully equipped to manage renewals and expansions. Similarly, analytics teams, which excel at handling account data to identify upsell and cross-sell opportunities, do not have the level of relationship to nurture the accounts and close deals.

In the case of customer success teams, they have an unbelievably detailed understanding of the customers. They understand the customer’s goals and what they need to achieve them. At the same time, they also have deep, well-rooted relationships with the customers. Considering these factors, it can be said that the customer success teams are the most appropriate for closing deals and handling expansions by offering additional solutions.

So, our final say is that the Customer Success Team is the rightful owner to handle the expansion revenue. However, they will be needing a lot of support from the sales and analytic teams.

Key elements of a successful expansion strategy 

Expansion – a way to increase revenues by offering additional services to existing customers – is an impactful way to increase the business’ revenue. It includes both upselling and cross-selling (and bundling, if possible). And, B2B’s have greater potential to do so with their existing clients given that they have strong relations. However, keeping the potential of expansion in mind, the customer success teams must come up with an impactful framework to approach expansion.

The IDEM framework, i.e., identify, design, execute and measure, is a fantastic way to implement expansion. Let us discuss the framework in detail –


IDEM framework element_Identify

The very first step in the process is to identify the right audience for the selling. Identify your target segments – When identifying the customers for your B2B sales expansion activities, it is important that ‘you pick the right set of accounts from your existing customers. The best way to do so is to apply Dynamic Customer Segmentation (DCS). This method involves uses data to identify the right set of customers/ accounts to target for Expansion Sales.

Now, it is also important to have criteria to segment the target audience. For this, you must take a cue from the expansion triggers. Expansion triggers are the distinct factors that could prompt you to start the expansion activities. Some of the triggers include time, sentiment, usage trend, financial trend, and touchpoint

Next, you will have to use the data sets to retrieve the customer data. The data sets necessary for this include finance, account, team, sentiment, and product use. You will have to match the customer data with the expansion triggers and then extract who the ideal customers are.

In case you need more research, remember to empathize with the audience and understand their concerns and pain points and see if they fall under the criteria


IDEM framework element_Design

The next step in the process is to design your approach. For this, you will have to understand that there are several moving parts in the process. When not streamlined with the identified elements and objectives, these parts could turn out to be loose ends that could hamper your efforts. The moving parts could be broadly classified as account journey, account journey, and health scores. These three key identifiers are a part of the criteria identified during the first step.

Now, based on these three parts, you will know how to design your approach to the accounts. For instance, if an account objective is to solve a specific pain point, then you can design your approach accordingly. At the same time, the health scores with the account will help you understand how you could leverage your relationship with the customer.

Now, these moving parts can be streamlined using workflows and intelligence. Workflows is an automation tool that helps professionals perform better. The tool can be used to increase the efficiency of teams, tasks and activities, playbooks, campaigns, and sentiment workflows.

Similarly, Intelligence is all about data analytics, data mining, and data visualization in order to make data-driven decisions. Intelligence can be used to make decisions regarding business, accounts, success, risk, and customer calls.

The combined use of Workflows and Intelligence helps in mastering the Design phase of the SaaS Expansion strategy.


IDEM framework element_Execute

The third step in the strategy is the execution of the design developed during the previous stage. The third step is executing it. The stage involves executing the operational instances implemented for playbooks, tasks, plans, dynamic segments, and more. At the same time, the focus should also be on the execution cycle, which involves

“Keeping a note of the account metrics, engaging the accounts at specific touchpoints, identifying and updating opportunities based on the value (actual and perceived), and choosing and closing the deal via tracking.”

To execute the tasks faster, the teams can use Intelligence. The use of intelligence helps different teams identify the best feasible way to execute the task assigned to them. For instance, intelligence can be used to identify the best possible tools that the operational teams can use to perform business-related tasks. Similarly, it can be used to analyze and break down data to take account-related decisions 


IDEM framework element_Measure

The decisive step in the framework in the SaaS sales Expansion strategy framework involves measuring the impact of the measure. During this step, you will have to measure the Operational Workflows, Operational Activities, and Customer Outcomes against the set benchmarks. The benchmarks can be both internal organizations and the external industry. Another crucial point is that the measurement must be performed regularly, and there should be continuous optimization.

Intelligence use plays a significant role in measuring the impact. This is because the use of intelligence provides valuable data and insights that make evaluation easier.

Final Words 

Here in this article, we have discussed the three types of selling opportunities for B2B SaaS organizations. We have also discussed the best way to handle expansion sales using the IDEM framework. While discussing the framework, we have also discussed the importance of intelligence and how it makes the process more impactful.

If you just remember one item from this post, make it the following: 

The framework for upsell cross-sell is an effective tactic that can speed up the decision-making process for clients. 

You should not rely on hunches to determine which of these options will satisfy your customers. To find out what works for each of your various visitor segments, A/B tests various upsell and cross-sell techniques. Then, you may use this tactic to significantly increase sales.  

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